A 5-10-1 record isn’t going to win any Super Bowls for the Minnesota Vikings. There are changes that will be needed along the way. The team has the fourth-most cap space at this point as free agency approaches and who knows if the team will decide to make any more moves between now and then. There are five things that the Vikings should look into doing before the 2014 season arrives in September to improve on that record.
Get Wide Receiver Help- The team got rid of Bill Musgrave and his normal plan was to throw the ball more than run. The Vikings still need to get some receivers to help out whoever is quarterbacking the team however. That can be in free agency or finding someone in the draft in May. Greg Jennings was good and Cordarrelle Patterson could turn into a star but having just one receiver with more than 50 catches won’t happen again in 2014.
Work on Linebacker- Chad Greenway is anchored on the outside. The team needs to be looking for a middle linebacker somewhere after releasing Erin Henderson. There are a few big names out there like Donald Butler and Karlos Dansby but the Vikings are likely not going to spend another $8 million per season on another linebacker. It may boil down to finding a quality starter who is in their final years to take the position.
Fix the Secondary- I have mentioned this before about the Vikings. The cornerback and safety position are terribly lacking after giving up the second-most passing yards in the NFL. This is a place where using the No. 8 overall pick may be a good idea or even entertaining the idea of moving down a few picks to get extra selections hoping to still land an elite cornerback. The division is full of teams who love throwing the ball and Minnesota can’t afford another bad season from the back four.
Decide on Christian Ponder’s Future- It has been a struggle for the Florida State quarterback in his pro career. The Vikings are likely going to go in 2014 with a new quarterback. Do they keep Ponder around as a backup though or do they just cut ties with him with a new system now in place? His cap hit is just over $3.2 million for the upcoming season and is the only quarterback under contract right now. That would be a lot of money to swallow but anything is possible.
Prepare for Outdoor Football- This is a team that has been playing their home games at the Metrodome for the last 30 years. They now go outside to TCF Bank Stadium for the next two years as their new stadium is built. Mike Zimmer has to have a team on the field for the beginning of the season that is more equipped for the weather conditions. It means a strong-armed quarterback and the ability to run the ball with Adrian Peterson. It will be a much different experience in 2014.